I was at a store today and saw an old typewriter, It reminded me of my childhood. At 11 years old, I was obsessed with office supplies.  I used to go to my Dad's office when he was on-call and take pens, highlighters, and anything he would let me. When I say obsessed, I mean, I was obsessed with everything I liked.

The National tour of Les Miserables was coming through Houston.  I didn't know anything about the show, except, that Debbie Gibson was playing Eponine on Broadway.  Well, then it must be good!  I had all of her albums, and her poster on my wall.  (it's true)

My Mother decided to get us tickets, nosebleed seats, so we got binoculars too.  I found out who was playing Eponine, Candese Marchese, and I was determined to meet her.  This was the closest I was going to get to Debbie.

I got one of my wallet-sized school pictures, and wrote a note to Candese, leaving it at the stage door for her. After the performance, and many tears, we went to the stagedoor, and their she was!!

She gave us a tour, and showed us everything.  My heart was racing!!!!

I asked her if I could keep in touch with her, and she gave me her address (email didn't exist yet, and I'm sure she is grateful for that!!)

Immediately, she became my unofficial pen pal.  I bought beautiful stationary with my name on it, and used my beautiful electric typewriter to tell her all of my hormonal prepubescent secrets.  I wrote her almost weekly about my Mother, about my strange attraction to boys, and even about Debbie Gibson.  Usually with no reply, but I knew how busy someone like her, being on a National tour and playing Eponine must be.  When would she have time to write little ole me?!?

Then one day, I received a lovely package.  It was from Candese!!! It included, a signed headshot, and a letter telling me she was playing Ellen in Miss Saigon on Broadway.  That was the last I heard from her.

2 years ago, I was lucky enough to spend 8 months on the road with the National tour of South Pacific.  I exited the stage door, somewhere in middle America, and there was a young boy asking for my autograph.  Immediately, I remembered Candese.  Here I am living the life she was living that seemed so mysterious to me at the time.  I also got so embarassed to think about all the bean-spilling I did on her.  I was curious and went home to immediately find her on facebook.

I wrote her a long message apologizing, and gratifying her for everything she did.  She told me she is happy and a Mom in Southern California!  She said, "it's not everything we thought it would be is it?" to which I replied, "Indeed, Candese, indeed."